In Pursuit Of Happiness
A View On Modern Living

"Discontent is the modern chronic affliction". How many of us are really satisfied with what we have done, are doing or are about to do? Will we be happy to join modern society and collect our weekly, fortnightly, monthly commission, wage or salary? To live in a "comfortable" house in a "nice" area with a "nice" wife and "nice" children? Are we to spend the rest of our lives worrying about how high we are on the social ladder, where "each rung dictates how many thousand a year"?

Before you start shouting "No" in reply to these questions, perhaps I had better tell you that you are about to do each of those things in the questions. What is more, you are going to be happy doing them (or will, at least, put up a facade of happiness). Because your minds are about to be, and, to a certain extent, already have been, conditioned. Modern society is killing all true feelings, and emotions, imaginations and original thought. From the length and style of our hair down to the style of our shoes-everything has been dictated to us. And yet we convince ourselves and those around us (most of all, those around us) that we are happy with our lot and that, as far as we are concerned, this is life!

But it is not life. How can we be alive-in the sense of gaining from, and giving to, life, all we can-if we are all living a "pretend" existence.

No one person is the same as another. We all have different looks, shapes, intellects, tastes, characteristics and idiosyncrasies. Everyone is an individual. But today's society, it seems, wishes us all to believe that the most important thing in life is being the same as everyone else-being "in" or "keeping up with the Joneses".

How many of us remain unscathed by the advertisements which surround us like a jungle each day and night of our lives. Do we wear the right clothes? Are we using the right soap? Do we eat the correct type of food? Are we too thin? What on earth is going on? Why are we worrying about such trivial problems? The more we worry about trivia, the more we degrade ourselves and those around us-the more we become machines, manoeuvred by the massive hand of greedy commerce. The more we cease to live and continue to just exist.

Life is more than mere existence-much more. So bound up are we in living a ''nice'', safe, comfortable life, that we fail to see how much we really can give to, and take from, life. We cannot see how much more there is to life than that which is around us. We see no further than the next day, the next measly penny.

Let's wake up now! Forget all the old conventions. Nobody who is anybody conforms. Do as you want to (within the law, of course). Go wherever you want to go. Be yourself. Look outside your own four walls. In one simple word - L I V E.

by M. Fielding U. 6

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